Students stranded on campus amid travel ban limbo

Colleges are looking for ways to support students from countries included in the Trump administration's travel ban, Karin Fischer reports for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily blocked citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. After the initial order encountered legal resistance and was repealed, Trump issued a second, similar order.

The revised order blocked citizens from six Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The second ban has also been temporarily suspended as courts process a new wave of lawsuits challenging it. On Thursday, a court ruled to keep the ban on hold, and now analysts expect the ban to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Amid this uneasy limbo, colleges are thinking about how to serve their international students.

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Roughly 17,500 students and scholars come to the United States each year from the affected countries. International students from those countries are currently allowed to reenter the United States if they leave. But some colleges are still warning affected students against leaving the country because it's possible the travel ban could end up being reinstated while they are away, which would leave them stranded abroad, Fischer reports.

As a result, some international students and scholars are finding themselves unexpectedly spending the summer on campus. Here are a few of the strategies colleges are using to support these affected students.

Ohio University will be providing free summer housing to students whose countries were included in the travel ban. Room and board for the summer will be covered by the university's Parent and Family Endowment Fund, which is meant for students in need.

Ithaca College has waived housing fees for students from affected countries. Other international students can apply for summer housing or to return to campus early. Officials also suspended the requirement that students staying in campus housing during the summer must be either enrolled in summer courses or employed by the college full-time.  

A group associated with the University of California, Berkeley will provide up to two dozen scholarships to cover summer housing for students affected by the travel ban or violence in their home countries.

Finally, the University of Delaware has established an emergency fund for international students (Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/18; Domonoske, NPR, 5/25).

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